NASA has never been known as a fast moving, quick to change and/or adopt new ideas and technologies. You can’t really blame them with billions of dollars of tax payer money and the lives of astronauts and support people on the line. That’s why I was a bit surprised to see that NASA has embraces social media as a marketing tool. NASA is sending 100 of its Twitter followers to Cape Canaveral for today’s launch of Atlantis. NASA awarded tickets to the Tweetup to the first 100 people to register on its site. The move is an attempt to drive more interest in space exploration.
NASA gets how to use social media – in this case twitter to augment its marketing strategy and to build relationships that enhance its brand. This is a great example for me to use when talking to clients about specific uses of twitter and other social media. Thanks NASA. Oh, and I”ll be watching the launch. I still get goose bumps when I see that enormous machine lift off the ground and soar heavenward.
I read a great post today at the SocialMediaToday blog about the three top reasons social media is still a tough sell. This is a great post with which I totally agree.
This post was particularly poignant given that I just met with a potential new client who had experienced all three of the followinf conditions from previous so called social media “gurus” and “experts”.
1 – Consultants make social media sound scary and/or unapproachable.
2 – Companies care about how they can increase sales not make themselves feel or look cool.
3 – Social Media consultants frequently come across as arrogant and without regard for the culture of their clients.
I’m not sure why it’s so difficult for those of us in the consulting field to understand that the only thing we accomplish by making ourselves seem otherworldly and omniscient is the alienation of our clients and the denigration of our vocation.
What about you? What experiences both bad and good have you had with consultants?
In the youtube clip embedded below, animal keeper Anthony Brown discusses some of the unique stories of how th SF zoo has used Twitter to improve visitors experience at the zoo, including how it has helped find lost phones and even how the zoo respond to a kid being bit by one of the river otters after finding out about the incident via Twitter.
Social media, once a phenomenon embraced only by geeks and early adopters, has quickly spread into the mainstream. The fact that a zoo is using Twitter to interact with its visitors and to know about what’s happening on its grounds in real-time is just another amazing example of the power of social tools to build relationships and enhance brands – and the penguins are pretty cool too.
For years I’ve been telling clients that one of the best things they can do to build relationships, enhance their brand and drive sales is to establish themselves as the thought leader in their domain and provide to their users information they can’t get elsewhere or, at the very least, is easier to get from them. Now there is research to back up my assertion. A new report published by eMarketer suggests that one of the best ways brands can capture the attention of internet users is by “providing relevant news and analysis” as well as providing “new ideas and thinking”. In other words, being a thought leader.
One of the companies I coached about this and does it well is Envysion. Through their MVaaS blog Matt Steinfort, Rob Hagens and Darren Loher have established themselves as the experts in the Managed Video as a Service space – at least as it applies to the technologies. The only thing they haven’t done well is provide a place for their customers to get additional information that is important to them but that doesn’t necessarily revolve around the technology of managed video. For example, since a lot of Envysion’s customers use the application to facilitate loss prevention Envysion could provide more information about loss prevention on its blog – trends, tips, tricks, etc. This would be a way to get more of Envysion’s current customers to come to the blog further cementing Envysion’s place as an expert/information source.
Additionally, Envysion could take advantage of microblogging to get additional traffic from other sources. Since word-of-mouth was the No. 1 purchase driver according to the surveyed consumers the use of Twitter and Facebook could help Envysion build a base of word-of-mouth referral sources.
One of the results of the study that I found most interesting is the fact that US consumers found social network contacts and bloggers that they read regularly more trustworthy than major journalists, television news readers and radio presenters. This to me is proof positive that the tide has really turned and that business must begin to include social media marketing as part of their overall marketing strategies.
Sarah Evans just wrote a post detailing 10 ways you can use twitter lists which has a great list (I had to work that in) of ways you can use this new feature of Twitter. 2 days ago Josh Catone wrote a post explaining how to use and setup twitter lists.
These are great tips on how to use a terrific new tool Twitter has come out with to help individuals and organizations use twitter in a new way to build relationships and enhance brands. This is new territory so it will be interesting to see all the exciting ways folks dream up to use Twitter Lists to achieve their objectives. What about you? How can/will you use Twitter Lists inside and outside your brand?
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the power of word of mouth as a marketing tool. For one thing the majority of my work comes from word of mouth. Also, part of what I help my clients with is defining and developing campaigns to build relationships with existing and potential customers, enhance their brand and drive more sales and these campaigns always include a word of mouth component.
But what I’ve also been thinking about is the darker side of word of mouth. We’ve all heard the adage that a happy customer tells 3 or four friends and an unhappy one tells everybody. The reason I’ve been thinking about this is that I’m really upset with my hosting company – MediaTemple. I transferred a domain to my account for one of my customers and since doing so I’ve had major issues including 2 of my other domains pointing to this new domain. It’s been a mess. I’ve spent hours trying to get MediaTemple to help solve the problem. Most of what I’ve gotten is “the brush off” and treatment that has left me feeling like a nuisance instead of an asset. So of course I’ve been thinking about launching a negative word of mouth campaign against MediaTemple in an effort to shame them into providing better service – not to me as I’ve made the decision to take my business elsewhere but to the rest of their customers.
Part of what makes me so mad is that I’ve brought MediaTemple(MT) quite a bit of business over the years. I’m one of those people who tell everyone about products and services I like as much and as often as I tell about ones I don’t. So I sort of think of myself as an unpaid marketer for MT. And now in my time of need they’re treating me like crap. But oh well. I’ve decided that the karmic blowback isn’t worth the effort. That and, I just don’t want or need the negativity.
But this is, in a way, a lesson for companies doing business in this modern social media age – treat your customers well, maybe even the way you’d like to be treated, because it only takes one sufficiently motivated person with the time and increasingly easy to acquire skills to spread a negative word like wild fire. Companies can no longer afford to offer sub-standard service and expect it to pass muster for long. In the old days an unhappy customer would be able to tell 25 to 100 people so a company’s exposure was small. Today in the age of Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, epinions, digg, golo, Google groups, etc., etc. a single person can reach tens of thousands of people almost instantly and the ripple from retweets and the like can be exponential.